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Dakota Production Ends... But is it the End of an Era?
Check out BadStratRT's latest homepage article about a possible Dakota replacement. Is Chrylser right to scrap their plans for a Dakota replacement for now? Or should they lead the market segment instead of waiting to see what happens?
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my 2001 dakota was the best truck i have ever owned. hopefully dodge/ram will see a need for a new "dakota" like they did the new durango. and it better have the same nameplate. im pretty sure the 4x4 and v8 options would be long gone. its a shame, a sad day for the dakota community.
current driver - 2009 Avenger R/t
I hate to see the dakota go, but the sales numbers are pretty clear. Maybe in the future a new dakota or other small dodge truck with a four or six cylinder engine. I feel like i see a lot of dakotas and rangers around here but this is kansas....
I hate to see the Dak go too. I really liked it as a midsize truck. The V-8 with manual tranny option is what really had my attention and in quadcab configuration it was a nice looking rig, and pretty capable.
As to the rumored 'replacements' Ive got some pretty mixed feelings. One rumor centered on an LX-based model a bit like a Dodge version El Camino or Holden Ute. Now if that would mean a sporty driving 'muscle car that can do stuff' offering engine options from v-6 up to Hemi with manual trans and rwd possibly awd, then Id say sign me up! GM has been teasing us with the possibility of bringing over the Holden Ute for a few years now, and their ***** havent quite dropped, as usual. From what I understand, its an amazing car and if Dodge had something comparable then Id love to have that as an option.
On the other hand, Ive heard of a modified Caravan platform. Now THATS what has me worried. The Ridgeline is a great concept, but the sales numbers arent really there. Seems like a bad compromise to me. I mean I do like the appearance of it, but with a v-6/slushbox as the only drivetrain, it isnt up to doing much. Its offroad capability pretty much sucks and it drives just like what it is--a modified minivan. Subaru had a turbo/manual version of the Baja and say what you want about that, but I love them. Its a fun to drive little car that has sportscar handling, a bit of offroad ability, and plenty of potential to modify it into a real screamer. Thing is, it looks like a subaru wagon with the rear roof cut off, the bed is a bit too small to be really useful and the lower cladding a-la Pontiac turned a lot of people off. The only way Id be behind a fwd based Dakota replacement is if it offered the truck like look and better utility of the Ridgeline, mated to the fun to drive factor, manual tranny, and hotrod-ability of the Scooby. A standard V-6 as the engine wouldnt cut it for me, Id much rather a turbo 4 like what the Caliber SRT-4 had which mated to a 5-speed would make a fun little rig...but I highly doubt we would EVER see that combo.
The silver lining to all this is that us Jeep fans have been SCREAMING for a Wrangler based pickup for about a million years. That would be the right size, and would offer a truly unique rig that would absolutely set itself apart from the other midsize/compact pickups in that it would offer all the 'Jeep experience' that fans of the Wrangler are looking for (unmatched offroad capability, freakish maneuverability, top/doors off open air running, insane aftermarket support, and of course one of the coolest bodystyles on the road) but combined with the superior versatility and usefulness of a pickup. Lets hope that whoever's calling the shots at Ma Mopar pulls thier head from his *** and makes the right call...
Im Johnny Knoxville. Welcome to Jackass!
Last edited by grungerockjeeper; 08-28-2011 at 02:57 AM..
The info about a replacement being built on a Caravan platform is somewhat misleading. The head of Ram division explained that the term 'platform' describes a set of dimensions, not literally the same platform that the Caravan uses.
In any case, I'm sad to see it go too. I'm on my 3rd Dakota having had one of each generation and having been my primary vehicle for the past 20 years.
I think Dodge's/Chrysler's actions have caused their own low sales numbers. Chrysler created the midsize market with the Dakota, but it became so big and heavy that there is little difference in it an a full size for fuel economy especially. That combined with NO aftermarket support for later model years, and people have looked elsewhere. This was and continues to be very disappointing, yet the truck itself is the most reliable and trouble free vehicle I have ever owned.
For my '09, I would have liked OEM color matched fender flares, seat covers and a few other things that I was able to get for my '98, but no. Very little available from Chrysler. I think my '98 was my favorite because it was a sporty truck, and for the aftermarket and OEM parts availability.
I think Chrysler failed to keep the design interesting or attractive to buyers generally. There are so many little things about my '09 that could have used improvement, but they chose not to. How about some under-seat storage instead of the stupid collapsible baskets? How about some more headroom (this applies to RAM too)? How about some of the nice touches added to the RAM? How about some innovation instead of letting it get stagnant?
They've already missed so many opportunities with past products, that it really makes me wonder. They had the 3.0l MB diesel engine that would have been a perfect fit. How about a real R/T version with a Hemi stuffed in it? Do they really want to sell product?
I like it's size for driving in the city, but I really don't need a towing capacity of over 7200 lbs. I see lots of Colorado/Canyons, Toyota & Nissans on the road, so there is a market for the midsize truck. I think the designers at Chrysler have lost their imagination. I think the whole corporation is caught up in a drive for cost savings, instead of producing products people want to buy. If they sold more product and made profit, they'd be farther ahead. Maybe they'll go chasing a new market segment with a 'lifestyle' vehicle, but they could have both if they got some designers working for them again.
Gen3 '09 Crew Cab SXT 4.7l 4x4 Blue
Gen2 '98 Club Cab Sport 5.2l 4x2 Blue
Gen1 '92 Club Cab 3.9l 4x2 Blue
Last edited by jtmdakota; 09-04-2011 at 10:56 PM..